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A Recipe for Water

Gillian Clarke

A Recipe for Water by Gillian Clarke
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Categories: 21st Century, Welsh
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Apr 2012)
9781847778130
£9.95 £8.96
Paperback (96 pages)
(Pub. Apr 2009)
9781857549881
£9.95 £8.96
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  • Walking by water through the gates
    of castle, mountains, sky, I think of him,
    great-great-grandfather, gorhendaid,
    working the stone-boats on the Menai Straits
    to the salt psalm of the sea and the wind's hymn
    in the tug and thrust of the tide.

    from 'Quayside' by Gillian Clarke
    The drop of water on the tongue, writes Gillian Clarke, 'was the first word in the world', and the language of water is the element in which these poems live. Ocean currents create histories and cultures - the port cities of Cardiff and Mumbai; myths are born where great rivers have their source high in the mountains. A bottle of spring water contains the mineral elements of life; we can read the earth's deep history in arctic ice. We share the rhythms of migrations in the pull of tides and seasons through rivers and estuaries.

    In her first collection since becoming the National Poet of Wales in 2008, Gillian Clarke explores water as memory and meaning, the bearer of stories that well up from a personal and collective past to return us to the language of the imagination in which we first named the world.


    Contents


    First Words
    A Pocket Dictionary
    Glas y Dorlan
    Not
    Otter
    The Fox and the Girl
    Sgwarnop
    Nettles
    A T-Mail to Keats
    Fflam
    The Ledbury Muse
    A Recipe for Water
    Severn
    A Barge on the Severn
    Source
    Sabrina
    Ice
    Tide
    Bore
    Barrage
    Migrations
    Mumbai
    Man in a Shower
    At the Banganga Tank
    In the Taj
    Laundry
    Hands
    Post Script
    Glacier
    Reader's Digest Atlas of the World
    City
    Afon Taf
    Architect
    Coins
    Llandaf Cathedral
    Sleepless
    Subway
    The Rising Tide
    Welsh
    Stadium
    Wing
    Number
    Letting the Light In
    House of Dreams
    A Sonnet for Nye
    Mercury
    Welsh Gold
    Horsetail
    Kites
    Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar
    Oradour-sur-Glane
    Singer
    Storm over Limousin
    Landscape with Farm
    The Accompanist
    Bach at St Davids
    Cattle, Hayfield, Storm
    Gravity
    Wings
    Pegging Out
    Love at Livebait
    Revival
    Castell y Bere
    Old Libraries
    The Oak Wood
    Library Chair
    Quayside
    Farewell Finisterre
    December
    Cae Delyn
    Advent
    The Darkest Day
    Solstice
    Shepherd



    Born in Cardiff, Gillian Clarke is a poet, playwright, editor, broadcaster, lecturer and translator (from Welsh). She edited the Anglo-Welsh Review from 1975 to 1984, and has taught creative writing in primary and secondary schools and at university level. She is president of Ty Newydd, the writers' centre in North Wales ... read more
    Awards won by Gillian Clarke Commended, 2024 A Poetry Book Society Spring Recommendation
    (The Silence)
    Short-listed, 2022 The Wales Book of the Year
    (Roots Home)
    Long-listed, 2020 The Laurel Prize for Ecopoetry (Zoology) Winner, 2011 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.
    Winner, 2012 Wilfred Owen Award
    Praise for Gillian Clarke 'The Silence is not concerned only with the pandemic. Gillian Clarke's writing frequently offsets her awareness of the naturalness and depth of her roots in rural Wales with the sense of strangeness which comes from having English as her "mother-tongue". These meditations are delicately handled in the collection, and particularly striking in the context of environmental catastrophe. What now threatens the landscape which Clarke has farmed and nurtured, in life as in verse, are shadows which roll across the globe, turning, for many people, the possibility of belonging anywhere into wishful thinking. The Silence is full of poems which remind us of the importance of place, and the demand of its words and silences to be listened to.'

    Carol Rumens, The Guardian Poem of the Week

      'There is a numinous quality to this book, a kind of spiritual attention which reveals, by silence and contemplation, the wondrous.'

    Stephen Sexton, Irish Times

    'This tug between the factual and the more mystical world beyond is at the heart of the collection. Science can describe the Land but not how love of particular places works within the human spirit...a richly varied and substantial collection'

    D A Prince, the North

    'Clarke has a direct line to the natural world. She paints the Welsh landscape without idealising or romanticising, and in the process shows that nature doesn't need to be elevated to inspire a quiet awe.'
    Financial Times Best Books of 2017


     'Always openings. Perceptions never alien to the new. No borders enclose her ideas. They are allowed to roam in her meticulous phrasing. And yet her greatest strength is, paradoxically, her moments of both closure and trapped moments of insight delivered to us grateful readers with faithful intelligence.'
    Herald Scotland


    'Clarke is a singer among poets, a celebrant of landscape, trees, insects, dead ewes, a writer whose rhythms and vocabulary seem tenaciously rooted in the traditions of the place of their origin.'
    The Tablet
    'Gillian Clarke's outer and inner landscapes are the sources from which her poetry draws its strengths.'
    Carol Ann Duffy, Guardian
      'Gillian Clarke's [poems] ring with lucidity and power... Clarke's work is both personal and archetypal, built out of language as concrete as it is musical.'
    Anne Stevenson, Times Literary Supplement
     'In Ice Gillian Clarke explores memory and identity through a series of winter landscapes.'
    Adam Newey, The Guardian, 1st December 2012
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